World Economy

Abe Vows to Accelerate Economic Recovery

Abe Vows to Accelerate Economic RecoveryAbe Vows to Accelerate Economic Recovery

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to accelerate his mix of policies to prop up Japan’s economic recovery and speed up parliamentary approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

In his policy statement opening the 66-day parliamentary session, Abe outlined an extra set of stimulus measures to help the economic recovery and spur more consumer and corporate spending. He aims to push through a supplementary budget within weeks to implement the measures in the package, which is worth 28 trillion yen ($2.8 billion), AP reported.

Abe reiterated that the global economy faces “major risks” such as uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union and the slowdown of emerging economies including China, stressing the need to accelerate his Abenomics policy mix of fiscal stimulus and structural reforms.

“We’ll further accelerate Abenomics and maximize the pace of moving out of deflation,” he said.

Abe also said the TPP is a key part of his growth policies, though he did not set a specific deadline for parliamentary approval of the trade pact, apparently amid uncertainty ahead of the US presidential election in November. He only hinted at a timing of TPP approval sometime later this year.

“An early entry into force of the TPP will be a big chance and we will aim to quickly achieve a one trillion yen ($10 billion) target (of annual agricultural exports),” Abe said.

  Yen to Rise

Japan’s former top currency official Eisuke Sakakibara says the the nation’s central bank stimulus is nearing its limit, and the yen will gradually strengthen toward 90 per dollar next year, Bloomberg reported.

Japan’s currency gained the most since July last week, touching 100.10 on Thursday, the day after the Bank of Japan shifted policy toward targeting the shape of the sovereign yield curve instead of money-supply expansion, while leaving the negative deposit rate and scale of asset purchases unchanged.

The yen could break 100 “at any time,” and may “immediately” strengthen as far as 95, according to Sakakibara, who was dubbed “Mr. Yen” for his ability to influence the exchange rate while a senior ministry of finance bureaucrat in the 1990s.

“The yen would probably have a slow appreciation, so that I would not be surprised to see dollar at 90 yen at the end of next year,” the 75-year-old, who is now a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, said in an interview Monday.